This week marks the second anniversary of the death of George Harrison, who was just announced as one of the new inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next March.
Last year, on Nov. 29, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne and Olivia Harrison staged a memorial concert for the late Beatle, featuring a host of his friends and collaborators lovingly performing Harrison's songs.
It also featured a substantial Indian orchestral tribute from Harrison's spiritual and musical mentor, Ravi Shankar, led by his daughter, Anoushka. The full recording of that concert is now available as the Concert for George on a two-DVD or two-CD set.
While normally I favor having concert recordings on CD, to play over and over again in the car or wherever (How often will you actually sit to watch them?), in this case, I'd recommend buying the DVD over the CD. While the performers kept the mood at a "celebration" level rather than a eulogy, there is an emotional aspect to this concert that you won't experience by just hearing the CD recording.
The DVD also includes two short songs performed by members of comedy troupe Monty Python, with whom Harrison forged a close relationship in the '70s. The Python segments are not included on the CD, nor is Sam Brown and Jools Holland's electric soul performance of Harrison's last recorded song, "Horse to Water."
Both the DVD and CD versions of the concert include performances of "Photograph" and "Honey Don't" by Ringo Starr, and performances of "For You Blue," "Something" and "All Things Must Pass" by Paul McCartney (with Starr on drums). Beatle session keyboardist Billy Preston performs soulful versions of "My Sweet Lord" and "Isn't It a Pity," and Eric Clapton handles "If I Needed Someone," "Beware of Darkness" and "Wah Wah," among others. Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, who formed Traveling Wilburys with Harrison in the late '80s, perform a handful of tracks (including the Wilbury's biggest hit, "Handle With Care"), and Joe Brown and Gary Brooker also lead the all-star band (which included Jim Keltner, Jim Capaldi and Albert Lee, among others) through classic Harrison tracks.
Dhani Harrison, who bears an almost-eerie resemblance to his father, plays on most of the tracks, and his visual presence on the DVD serves as a constant reminder of the late guitarist.
This is truly a special, historical concert that Beatle and Harrison fans will treasure. Recommended.
June's Picture Show
Ingram Hill hails from the competitive music scene of Memphis, and has released and sold thousands of copies of its last independent disc, Until Now. But June's Picture Show is, in some ways, the band's first full album of well-recorded studio material. The new CD includes re-recordings of some fan favorites from Until Now, as well as new material written over the past year. It could also be their ticket to a major label deal, because this is a better batch of mid-tempo rock songs than many of their more successful contemporaries have released lately.
Opening with a song bound to appeal to local audiences, "Chicago," June's Picture Show moves back and forth between big vocal anthem rock choruses to rootsy, Toad The Wet Sprocket-like songs (just listen for the Toad influence in the guitars on "Never Be The Same").
The band loves chiming guitars and lots of harmony vocals, and offers a dozen foot-tappin' examples on June's Picture Show. They've opened for bands like Sister Hazel, Better Than Ezra, Tonic, Blues Traveler, The Clarks and Cowboy Mouth, and that company gives a pretty good indication of the "type" of band they are. Ingram Hill is about solid, easy rockin' songs, and June's Picture Show delivers. For more information, check their web site at www.ingramhillmusic.com.
Ingram Hill will play Schuba's in Chicago on Sunday, November 30.